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'To the Pole'

The other day I asked a pretty young woman who is about to graduate from high school what she planned to do. Was she going to college, get a job, what?

"To the pole," she cracked with a grin.

I laughed, figuring she was joking. However, Myrtle Beach does have its share of strip clubs where pole dancing is not exactly intended as an art form. So who knows, maybe she was serious.

Then, I read today that pole dancing has actually been officially sanctioned as an Olympic sport. Incredible! So that young lady was actually telling me she was planning to go to the Olympics! I should have known.

According to The Washington Post article, the Global Association of International Sports Federation (GAISF) recently granted observer status to the sport of pole dancing.

"Pole sports is a performance sport combining dance and acrobatics on a vertical pole," GAISF says on its website. "Pole sports requires great physical and mental exertion, strength and endurance are required to lift, hold and spin the body. A high degree of flexibility is needed to contort, pose, demonstrate lines and execute techniques."

The Post's article explains that achieving GAISF observer status is the first step towards officially being recognized as an Olympic sport, which is the sport's goal. Kathy Coates, president of the International Pole Sports Federation, said the recognition would help the sport develop further on the national and international stage.

So who knows? Maybe that young woman from Myrtle Beach will end up as a world class Olympian and bring home a medal in...drum roll please...Pole Dancing!

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